Traveling In The Dark

I enjoy reading about the origins of words and phrases; for example, do you know the origin of the phrase, “good night, sleep tight?”  In times past, there were no box springs as we have today.  The mattress would lay across a myriad of thin ropes which, after every night’s sleep, would have to be pulled tight before a person crawled into bed the next night.  If they didn’t, the mattress would sag, making for a very uncomfortable sleep.  Hence, the saying of well wishes for the person to have a,  “good night and sleep tight.”

I read of something else very interesting to do with the verse found in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”  During Bible times, when caravans would travel, perhaps from Egypt to Jerusalem, bringing their goods for sell and trade, they would travel day and night to get to their destination.  In order to travel at night they would have their servants go before the teams of wagons and horses carrying lamps to light the road ahead.

At times when individuals traveled through the night they would actually attach lamps, by way of a leather holder, to the front of their legs while carrying a lamp in their hands as well.  This helped the traveler to better see the potholes or large stones in their way.  Without the lamps they could easily fall and get hurt or lose their way altogether.

When the writer of Psalm 119 wrote, “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path,” the reader of that time would know exactly the importance of that verse.  Just as lamps were a requirement for safety to the night traveler, God’s Word offers the same safety as we travel through the darkness of this world.  How easily we can fall when temptations roll onto our path, like a huge stone on the road, ready to trip us and cause us harm.  Often times we don’t know which way to go in our lives, what decisions to make, but with the light of God’s Word, we can better see the direction we should take.

God’s word is the light that reveals truth, that shows us the way, that points to peace, that shows us how to obtain the very strength of God when our own resilience fades away.  When we are in the darkness of despair or sorrow, God’s word lights our difficult path, guiding us to find the answers, granting us wisdom on what we should do, filling us with a holy comfort that the world alone cannot give.  God’s Word is the only light that can pierce any darkness found in this world.

We must all walk through the dark, but we don’t have to walk without the light.

 

 

Dad’s Words Echoing In My Heart

I’ve had some blasts of energy the past few weeks, channeling it into some fruitful work.  I’ve painted the bathroom, the back porch, and our cat, Blackie’s house.  If  I do say so myself, it has all spruced up nicely — lookin’ good.  Tomorrow I plan to paint the front porch, and on Saturday it will be time to saddle up on the tractor lawn mower.  How I love being in the outdoors.

As I’ve gone from one task to another, a flood of memories began to fill my mind and touch my heart.  You see, many times over the years, it was with my Dad that I painted things, or cut grass, or trimmed trees.  We would work side by side, and in our working, all sorts of conversations arose.  Sometimes we talked of very serious matters; sometimes we talked of things that made us laugh long and hard.  Often we talked about the things of God.

This week, I was surprised at the recollections that came back to me; things we discussed that I haven’t thought about in a long time.  It felt good and warm to my heart to recall my Dad’s words.  Sometimes they made me smile and even laugh.  Other times, I reflected thoughtfully as memories of our conversations played in my mind.

I thought about the deep joy and sweetness that comes to me when I recall my earthly father’s words.   Continuing in my pondering, my thoughts switched to my Heavenly Father.  When I recall His words — words that I have hidden in my heart over the years — those words are also sweet to recall.  The words of my Heavenly Father bring me comfort when I hurt; they bring me peace when I am troubled; they bring me guidance when I don’t know which way to go.

I had such joy when I talked with my earthly Dad.  When I engage in conversation with my Heavenly Father, my joy is doubled as I share with Him a thankful heart for all His goodness to me.  You see, the words of my Heavenly Father is what I need every day of my life, because, as it says in Psalm 119:105, “Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.”

Therefore, it stands to reason, if I ignore my Heavenly Father’s words — words that are a light to guide my way — then I may find myself walking in darkness.  In the dark, I will lose my way; I will lack confidence to move as fear paralyzes me.  Joy will fade away as anxiety and worry fill the space where joy once resided.

My personal prayer is:  “Dear Father, help me to remember, whether in the best of times or  in the most troublesome of times, give me your own sweet reminders to choose light.  It is in the light that I will always see clearly.  The darkness is blinding.  Help me to remember, dear Heavenly Father, the sweetness of Your words.”